The demolition of two empty tower blocks in Newcastle’s East End has been delayed again.
Plans have been in the works for years to tear down Titan House and Hexham House, in Walker, to make way for a major regeneration of the area.
But the 16-storey buildings are still a part of the city’s skyline and council bosses say they cannot yet confirm a date when demolition will begin.
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When plans to pull down the two blocks were first announced in August 2018, it was hoped that construction on new affordable housing to take their place would be complete by spring 2021.
This February, with the work still yet to begin, Newcastle City Council said it was on the verge of appointing a contractor and that demolition should start in late spring.
That did not happen on schedule either and a planning application from Your Homes Newcastle (YHN) later listed the start date for the works as August 1, last Sunday.
However, there is no sign of cranes moving in and the local authority confirmed there is still work to be done before the nine-month project can begin.
A council spokesperson said: “A start date for the demolition of Hexham House and Titan House has yet to be confirmed.
“While a contractor has been appointed, temporary footpath closures, highways applications and other surveys need to be completed before a start date can be finalised.
“The demolition programme is scheduled to take approximately nine months to complete, after which we aim to bring forward mixed-use redevelopment, including affordable homes, that will deliver positive regeneration of Church Walk, to the benefit of residents and visitors.”
There are no YHN tenants left in either Titan or Hexham House. In 2018, the blocks’ few remaining residents claimed that the buildings were being used as drug dens and had become full of “troublemakers”.
Once the two blocks have been torn down, the council says it is expecting to build around 50 affordable homes on the Church Walk site.
There are also hopes for a wider regeneration of the area which will also see the Church Walk Shopping Centre bulldozed and new shops opening on the site of the former Rathbone Centre.
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